I have reached another milestone in writing Robot Dawn. This morning I rolled over to 1,500 pages (511,060 words). Quite an endeavor. I am gettin closer to the end of the second draft, which is a more complete rendering of all the chapters. After I complete this, I will get into the more intricate details of editing. Then will come the polishing of the text. Still a couple of years before completion. Then I’ll have to make a decision of whether to self-publish or turn it over to an agent. I am not very fond of agents having been lied to and screwed over multiple times in the past by several agents. Plus, I’m getting along in years and may not have enough time left to see where all this leads.
I have had an additional complication with the writing of Robot Dawn. It’s a good-news bad-news scenario. Through a bit of serendipity, I found an AI bot to assist me in visualizing some of the more difficult-to-imagine scenes and characters. This tool is called Midjourney. It isn’t free, and I have been reluctantly forking over $50/month for its assistance. But the results have been amazing. I have documented my initial struggles with this software on my Story Alchemy website here. That also demonstrates the quality and inventiveness of Midjourney.
But further difficulties have unfolded. At first I was overwhelmed by the gorgeous images and the assistance in imagining the settings for my story as well as it triggering a slew of connections that tightened the plotline and produce a fuller, more intricately woven novel. But it also became a distraction. I had difficulty staying away from generating spectacular images and getting on with the business of putting words on the page.
Within the last couple of days I have come to a realization. Working with Midjourney is now a part of my writing process. And I will use the images generated by it as illustrations for my story. Not only am I writing my novel, I am also illustrating it as I go. I will also work with a professional illustrator to ensure the best results. Never did I think that I would become the illustrator of my own novel. But here I am. I also believe that this may be the beginning of a revolution in novelwriting. The author can now include his/her own Midjourney generated images that assisted in writing the novel. In digital format, this won’t be a problem, but in either hardback or paperback, it would cost a ton of money, particularly if the images appeared in color. Plus, they would need to be placed within the text to allow the reader to visualize the story much as did the author. It could build a tighter bond between reader and author.
My next draft will include embedded Midjourney images within the text. The struggle will be to limit the number to only those that augment the story and provide an improved reader experience. I believe a watershed moment is upon us. This could be a twofold approach that will take storytelling to another level. Time will tell.
Now back to getting it done.